The Southern Indiana University Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) is launching a new telemedicine initiative to improve access to healthcare for older adults. Beginning Monday, May 15, Vanderborough County residents will be able to participate in telemedicine appointments with health care providers at Deaconess Her Clinic at her four locations at the Evansville Vanderborough Public Library (EVPL). increase.
“Due to the COVID pandemic, we have found that the lack of technology and reliable internet access, especially in rural areas, is a barrier for older adults to participate in telemedicine appointments,” said a health care executive. Chair Dr Kevin Valladares said. “Our partnership with the Deaconess Clinic and EVPL will allow us to offer an innovative model of care in a trusted library location.”
Telemedicine visits virtually connect patients to their healthcare providers using appointments ranging from simple phone calls via phone, tablet, or computer to real-time face-to-face conversations via video. EVPL staff will assist you in setting up the necessary technology for your booking, including laptops, headphones and speakers.
Valladares said the project will focus on Medicare’s annual wellness visits and behavioral health appointments with Deaconess providers. All kinds of appointments are scheduled,“Eventually, we want to use this model of care as a prototype and replicate it in a rural area of southwestern Indiana,” he says.
Amanda Bohleber, Ph.D., Chief Transformation Officer and Family Physician at Deaconess Health System, says having teleheat access is a win for everyone. “Telehealth allows patients to connect with providers from convenient locations, improving both access to care and timeliness of care,” she says. “As a result, patients at all stages of life have the opportunity to get the care they need, when they need it, with improved outcomes.”
Katie Reineke, EVPL’s outreach manager, said the telemedicine initiative is an example of how libraries have evolved from being just places of learning to places of gathering. “Librarians regularly assist people of all ages with their technical needs, so working with seniors who need assistance with medical appointments is a great fit for us,” she said. “Libraries are already known for providing safe, trustworthy and secure meeting areas, but they will also be known as telemedicine options in the future.”
Participating library locations are:
• EVPL Central: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:15 am to 11:15 am
• EVPL Oaklyn: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:15 am to 11:15 am
• EVPL North Park: Tuesdays, 9:15-11:15 am, 12:00-2:00 pm.
• EVPL Red Bank: Tuesdays 9:15-11:15 am and 12:00-2:00 pm
For more information, see: USI.edu/GWEP.
This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Office of Health Resource Services (HRSA) as part of a grant totaling $3,691,706 million with 0% funding from nongovernmental sources. The content is that of the author and does not necessarily represent her official views or endorsements of HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.